Tuesday, February 28, 2017

CBJ Rarely Misses Obvious Flubs like These

I do not typically see errors like "... admission will be free to the John Deere attractions in Iowa in Illinois, reports..." or "The cost of of around..." when I read my CBJ Morning Rush email but, those errors were present today, as you can see below.

I hope this is not going to become a pattern of editorial sloppiness.

Would I pay $300 to See My FAVORITE Band?

Speaking of Metallica being on tour, in my daily Google Alert - Metallica email, I saw a link that took me to the Craigslist > Boston page:


monday 2017-02-27

number available: 2
Gillette Stadium-May 19th



Metal heads everywhere know nothing compares to the hardcore intensity of seeing Metallica tear through monumental epics like "Enter Sandman", "For Whom the Bell Tolls", and "Master of Puppets" in concert. Headbanging ticket buyers rock hard to countless classics as frontman James Hetfield growls through the band's thunderous throwdowns and brutal ballads. Kirk Hammett's sick guitar shredding and Lars Ulrich's furious drum fills complete the sonic assault, stunning listeners with each hard-hitting breakdown and pulse-pounding riff. Still serving up the same brilliant savagery that made them thrash metal superstars in the first place, Metallica continue to unleash the metal mayhem whenever they tour.

It made me think: if Metallica were going to play at Kinnick Stadium or the UNI-Dome, if the tickets to that show really were $300 each, would I really go? Is my FAVORITE band in the WORLD worth $300 to see? My immature answer is "Duh! YES!" but the practical side of me is pondering the idea. Is there a price too high to pay to see Metallica live in concert? The practical side of me says, "You saw them in 1989 (though you don't remember the show but no, I wasn't drunk or anything, I just don't remember it. You saw them in 1991 and remember thinking, "All these kids should be at home doing homework" because I was in the hell known as student teaching. You saw them in 1993 with Karen, Brian Rock, and Brenda and remember Jason Newsted telling the crowd it was okay to have a good time (it was days after Chris Street had been killed in a vehicle accident) and then noticing how much louder the crowd became. You saw them in 2004 with Serbi & Phil, which is when Serbi told me that he and his wife were getting a divorce and that he hoped I wouldn't think less of him. That's four times of seeing Metallica. That's less times than you've seen Shinedown (which still blows my mind). Is four times not enough? Do you not think the concert will be online shortly after the concert whereby you can see Metallica, essentially, for free?"

The emotional side of me says, "Screw you Practy! I want to see my FAVORITE band in the world!"

I'm glad I don't have to kick my own ass to find out...

That movie is SOOOO Awesome!

And I'm not even a big Jim Carrey fan.

And, by the way, I'm listening to Death Magnetic now.

I Fear Where I Would Be

I have a less than 10 minute commute from my residence to my desk. It's really sweet. When I think about where I was at this time in 2016, I am immediately humbled to be where I sit. Perhaps that is why I am enamored by the lyrics and ideas contained in Metallica's "Atlas, Rise!" tune, which is focusing upon Atlas taking the world upon his shoulders, taking the burden on, and confronting it. I had to do the same thing when I was looking for a job. I had to find a way to not allow myself to get down about my situation. It was easy to play mind games and if it were not for my friends and families and community supporting me, I could have easily resumed drinking booze again. Easily. As in opening a bottle of orange flavored vodka in the garage and sniffing how good it smelled and then opening the cap on a different flavor of vodka and smelling that. I remember thinking, "This is my moment. This is my moment to do what I want to do with my life and God has given me the freewill to choose what I should do.

My choice was to not drink anything from either bottle. Cheers to Atlas for taking on his burden and persevering when it would be easy to quit.

And because the MetOnTour video for Hong Kong was on the same page as the above, I thought it'd be neat to include it within this post as well.

Down 15 with Less than 24 hours To Go

Per my quick calculations, I should be posting my 232nd post of the year before I go to bed tonight, but I'm unlikely to do so. After I click Publish, I am 15 posts below my 4 posts per day quota for the year. My average is 3.741379310344828 posts per day which is not terrible as it is 93.53448275862069 % out of 4. I would be ecstatic to score 93.5% on any test and since that's all life is anyways, I'm good.

Editor's Note: The difference between 232 and 217 will not be allowed to be made up today in a flurry of single line posts.

My Plan for Lent

Just for the record, today, 2/28/20117, is the last day I'm going to use my cell phone until 4/17/2017 (Easter Monday). Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and so, for Lent, the phone is being shut off and put aside. Time I would have spent looking at political stories (even for this blog) or Metallica stories are going to be pushed out of my spare time. Some people give up chocolate - yeah, that's never worked for me - or caffeine - again, that's never worked for me - but I remember Karen saying last year that this year I should give up my cell phone. I've pondered the idea and think it's a great & fantastic idea.

Thus, I'm in.

Plus, when I think about how much my cell phone will 'light up' on that Monday and the number of text messages & emails that will appear, plus the notifications for my apps, such as youtube.com, Crooks & Liars, and Bleacher Report, it kind of makes me excited. I'm still giving up my cell phone as a gesture of what Christ went through during his 40 days in the dessert - I'm not being selfish - but that's just the way my mind works.


I do not use PayPal often enough to begin to think that this is a legitimate email. I also found "t.co/7ngwqfpiky" to be the dumbest link ever. Plus "updatelimited-account.com" as an email address? Really?

No, I am not clicking the link.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Stoke Betray Something I'll Let Against Let Saviours Nothing Count Emotionless Sell

When July rolls around and Alex and I arrive at Chicago Open Air, one of the (many) bands we'll see is Seether. I was excited to hear that Poison the Parish arrives on May 12th. “Let You Down” is the first single and it's damned good!

These are the songs on the release, which, right now, only track 5 means anything to me.
  1. Stoke the Fire
  2. Betray and Degrade
  3. Something Else
  4. I’ll Survive
  5. Let You Down
  6. Against the Wall
  7. Let Me Heal
  8. Saviours
  9. Nothing Left
  10. Count Me Out
  11. Emotionless
  12. Sell My Soul

Banging the Drums Because I'm Not Really Banging My Drums

I miss playing in a band.

I long to have my acoustic set up like Aaron Spears. I'm not a fan of the Usher tune itself, but I am a fan of Spears' drumming. By having a second hi-hat by the floor tom, he can play open style and doesn't have to play crossed stick.

Either watch the entire video below (highly recommended!) or jump to here

Certainly, he's not the only drummer to play like that.

The following would be challenging and fun to figure out.

  • Can you call yourself a guitarist if you don't know how to play chords? Can I call myself a drummer if I cannot play the 40 Drum Rudiments?

  • Anika Nilles is a phenomenal drummer. This groove is tasty!

  • The Gloria tune we play at Mass is in 6/8. Maybe I can work this lick in...

There's a story on Blabbermouth.net about Adler's involvement with the G-n-R reunion.

Red Sun Rising is slowly creeping up to Count the Stars, Bayside, and Metallica status.

Halestorm released an EP of cover songs. When I hear these covers, I'm smiling.

  • This is an underrated great ROCK song.

  • This is my personal all-time favorite Soundgarden tune.

  • I was never a huge fan of this tune until I heard Metallica play it in Moline, IL.

  • Personally, I wouldn't want to play this tune in a band. Sure, getting the parts down would make it a tune I would be challenged to learn. The reason I wouldn't want to play it is the same reason Metallica doesn't have affection for the complex tunes on And Justice for All, which is that they have to think about what they are playing instead of grooving to what they are playing.

  • Given the above, I wanted to hear what they could do live - if they could pull it off. Judge for yourself!


At Pearson, I used to walk past a white board that was used by that department to write sayings on it. There was nothing work-related about it.

Now, where I work, every cubicle, including mine, has a white board. When I come into my building, my cubicle is to the left. If I were to go to the right, there is a cubicle I like to visit before I sit down at my desk. Why? The person who sits there writes sayings on their white board. This is what was there yesterday:

I've also taken pictures of two other sayings:

For my brand of humor, this one is the funniest because of the "just in case"

900 Screenshots

John Dumbrille wrote, "Our software's user interface is being updated, all at once, later this year. Our documentation includes 900 screenshots. Advice?"

Of course I have advice and some of it is actually meaningful. I wrote the following:

I have gone through this before. I would treat the "revised" system as a "new" system as you are going to have to go through all the tasks in your user guide to catch other changes, such as navigation and enhanced functionality. As you do that work, capture your new screenshots.

One other point. Does this system really have 900 unique screens? If so, WOW! If the 900 screenshots is because you have the same screenshot within multiple tasks, one strategy I would use would be to create a snippet to store that screenshot and then include a reference to that snippet. Most HATs have the functionality (RoboHelp, Flare, Confluence are the 3 I'm familiar with personally). If the same screenshot is currently in 10 different tasks, you would only need to update the snippet.

Sounds like a great project!

It sincerely sounds like awesomeness! I had this type of work with the rewrites of a trouble reporting system. There was Trouble I, then Trouble II, then Trouble II with RELTEC, then Trouble III, then, shortly before I left the company, there was Trouble Management. I never had 900 screenshots in my documentation for that system or any other system, except maybe the service orders system I documented. If I would have known then what I know now, the documentation for that service order system would never have looked the way it did. I was using RoboHelp, but didn't know to use snippets for screen captures - I had to work at Pearson to learn about snippets. Now, that said, for that specific service order system, there were not a lot of duplicate screenshots. Going by memory, I'd guess 95% of the screenshots in that documentation were unique screenshots and not used in more than one area.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

PostModern Jukebox

Two Mets

Asking questions before I am done!

I got a phone call last night.

“Hello sir? I am calling you because we have identified the problems you have with your computer.”
“How did you get my number,” I asked.
“Asking questions before I am done! Why are you doing that?”
“Excuse me? You are being very rude and I do not have time to talk to rude people,” I said before I hung up.

Karen’s co-worker got one of these phone calls a couple of weeks ago & she bought a “PC service” for $416. She had me come over to look at what they had installed and, while I was there, she called the number to ask for a refund because when I went to the website for the company, it was all about electric generators & no mention of PC support. The last I heard, she hasn’t got her money back.

Wiki Markup in Word to Confluence

I read this post - Is it possible to use Confluence Macros in the Word origin file? - and thought it was interesting. Back when I was using Confluence on a daily basis, the idea of using MS Word as a way to import wiki markup to Confluence because, for us, the whole idea was to NOT use MS Word for ANY of our documentation. And, on a related note, this post - What is the best add-on for Microsoft Word 365 to build macros? The built-in macro feature is very inefficient - and very wrong. Building macros by recording actions is very efficient. In fact, I have many included in my Quick Access Toolbar, as shown below.

When I look at a document in MS Word, it looks like this:

Obviously, I need to trim since I can't even see the name of the file!

Editor's Note: This was an "as-is" rendering of my QAT. Due to testing the application of styles through the QAT, duplicates exist in the third screenshot.

Striving for Four (4) a Day

In 2017, my goal is to write 4 posts a day on this blog. Thus far, there have been 53 days in the year so I should be publishing my 212th post by the end of the day. Instead of meeting that goal, including this post, I have published 204 posts. Simple math tells me I average 3.849056603773585 posts a day.

Extrapolating* that data, had I started out with the current goal on the first day I posted, which was 11/26/2007 or 3377 days (9 years, 2 months, 4 weeks) ago, I would have 13508 posts on this blog.

Part of that equation, though, has to be that between my first & second post, 113 days elapsed, which would have been 452 posts. If I take that 13508 total posts and subtract the 452 posts that would have been posted during those 113 days, I have still have 13056 posts, which when it is divided by (3377 total days - 113 days between posts 1 & 2) = 13056/3264, I get four (4).


Holy crap.

I wasn't expecting that!

Let me do that again.

3377 days between 2/23/2017 & 11/26/2007, 113 day break = 3264 days I've actively posted on this blog.

3264 x 4 posts / day = 13056 posts

13067 posts / 3264 = 4.

Just for the record, whenever I did math problems in high school, I would do the problem twice to make sure my answer matched - they rarely did. Thus, the fact that I did the math twice and got the same answer is making me smile.

* Editor's Note: Prior to approving the use of the word "extrapolating" in this sentence, Google was consulted. Because it's a fancy word that has never been used on this site. It is defined as "extend (a graph, curve, or range of values) by inferring unknown values from trends in the known data."

Too Good

At first blush, I thought this "service" would be useless to me.

While I cannot dispute that $6.95 is a great deal when it is 90% of the 'normal' price, my initial reaction was skepticism because of the 1 TB of online backup blurb. I immediately accessed my y:\music_shell folder to find out if 1 TB would be enough room for my Music_Shell folder, which is my primary music collection. As shown below, it would be enough room to backup  my entire y:\music_shell folder:

However, the second thing I did was to access the statistics for what I have on my y: drive, which is my main EHD. As I predicted to myself, the offer above would not be enough room to back up my entire y: drive:

Yet, even knowing that it would not be enough for the entire y: drive, given my track record with multiple EHDs crashing, which resulted in multiple CD to MP3 conversions, wouldn't $6.95 be an insignificant investment for peace of mind that I have another backup of my music? It reminds me of the people that show up on ABC's "Shark Tank" show, where they ask for $100,000 for 20% of their company, a shark counteroffers $100,000 for 30%, the person counters with $100,000 for 25%, and then walks out over 5%. From watching the show, and being at a disadvantage regarding all things financial - thank you Bachelor's degree in English - I've learned that quibbling over 5% may seem like it's "only 5%" but I also have learned that 5% can mean a lot of money, depending upon the valuation of the company. Can you tell a rerun of "Shark Tank" was the last thing on the TV last night? In my situation, there would be 2,300,873,130,167 bytes that would not be backed up or 2.300873130167 TB.

Editor's Note: Shark Tank is enough of a 'thing' in life to warrant a label. Also, there was a lot of math that led down a rabbit hole of converting TB to GB - thanks Google - that has been removed due to the uncertainty of correctness. The intent of the final paragraph in this post was to stress my storage need capacity > 1 TB, which has been accomplished. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Two from the debacle that happened on this date in 1989, when Jethro Tull won a Grammy for "Best Metal Performance" and a recap of a recent show in China, and finally, a new video in preparation for their upcoming gig.

Interested Going HUH?!?

I have zero clue where the Ballroom at Iowa State University in Iowa City is located. I would like a third option under the picture. In addition to "Interested" and "Going," there should be this option: HUH?!?!?!?!?

Not a Fan

I do not think I would take a chance on the four senior managers that were terminated at Wells Fargo. Whether they deserved to be terminated is one thing and the merits of that decision can be debated through both pro and con arguments. My issue with the blurb below is the way personnel issues that are usually private / confidential were not kept confidential. Here is the blurb I read in my CBJ Business Daily email:

Am I in the minority if my first reaction was, "How do these four people find a new job to buy food for their family, to pay their mortgage and other bills?" My second reaction was, "After reading the blurb above, could I ever hire any of these four people, knowing that these were senior-level firings that were broadcasted through the media?" I would be very tentative.

Maybe that's just another one of my (many) character flaws. Personally, I do not believe people should be judged by something that happened once. Could these four people be "awesome" people? Of course. The problem is that they will always be judged by their association with Wells Fargo. It also makes me think why in the hell would I ever apply for a job at Wells Fargo if that is the manner in which they treat employees?

On a similar idea about people being judged, is it fair that Bill Cosby's brilliant humor will be overshadowed by alleged rapes? Personally, as a fan of Cosby's comedy, it's not fair. In Cosby's obituary, I know the scandal / court case will be mentioned as a detrimental footnote to his comedy.

And yet, on a third tangent, I cannot resist commenting about how politics is the worst* when it comes to being judged by the past. Consider this blurb from my MSNBC Last Word email. Those who oppose President Trump have been demanding that Trump denounce antisemitism** and to set the record straight on where he stands as a man. Yesterday, he did. He did what those critics asked him to do and guess what? It's not enough for Steven Goldstein, Excec. Dir of the Anne Frank Center, who says "words don't make up for actions." Certainly, I agree, but god damnnit! Trump did what he was asked to do and it's not good enough. It's at this point that I would throw up my hands in exasperation if I were Trump. I would think "I was told I needed to do this, I do it, and it's not enough." What is enough for those that oppose Trump's policies?

*The majority of political opinions on this blog are stored on the "Get Your Political Opinions Here" page, which is a hyperlink on ====> side of this blog.
**According to the Firefox web browser, anti-Semitism should be antisemitism, which is different from the way MSNBC editors think.

Editor's Note: The next day, this article - Trump has yet to truly condemn anti-Semitism. It’s been almost four years since I started working for The Daily Iowan. In those four years, I have written countless columns about anti-Semitism and what it means to be a Jew today. - was published.


There was a post in the RoboHelp forums about an ExtendScript that will remove inline formatting. I asked the author, Marino Den Baes, if he could share the script and he did.

Let me just say that if I become an "ExtendScript Guru" in the future, it was today, 2/22/2017, when I began that journey.
Object.prototype.isTag = function(Tag) {
//This function check if the token (object) is the specified XML/HTML tag. (Or is one of the specified tags in an array.)
//Attributes are stripped from both the token as the tag to check.
//Works only on tokens from the RoboHelp TokenManager.
var Token = this;

//Check for RoboHelp and check that the object is a token from the RH tokenmanager
if(typeof(RoboHelp) == "undefined")
alert("Please start RoboHelp to use the isTag function.");
return false;
else if(Token.parent != "[object TokenManager]")
alert("You can only use the isTag functions on tokens from the TokenManager.");
return false;

if(Token.tokenType != RoboHelp.TokenType.TOKENTAG)//It's not a tag at all
return false;

if(!Tag)//No tag specified and this is a tag so return true
return true;

var isTagCleanTag = function(tag) {
if(tag.match(" "))
tag = tag.split(" ")[0];//Remove attributes the lazy way

return tag.replace(/[<>]/g, "").toLowerCase();

var isTag = false;
var fullTag = Token.name;
var TagName = isTagCleanTag(fullTag);//Get the tag name without brackets

if(Tag.constructor.toString().indexOf("Array") == -1)
var TagArray = new Array;
TagArray[0] = Tag;
} else {
var TagArray = Tag;

for(var i =0; i.)
//Requires isTag function

var Token = this;

if(typeof(isTag) == "undefined")
alert("The function balancedDelete requires the function isTag().");
return false;
else if(typeof(RoboHelp) == "undefined")
alert("Please start RoboHelp to use the balancedDelete function.");
return false;
else if(Token.parent != "[object TokenManager]")
alert("You can only use the balancedDelete function on tokens from the TokenManager.");
return false;

var SingleDelete = function(token) {
var Single = false;

if(token.tokenType == RoboHelp.TokenType.TOKENTEXT)
Single = true;
else if(token.tokenType == RoboHelp.TokenType.TOKENTAG)
if(token.name.match(/(<\/)/g) || token.name.match(/(\/>)/g))//End tags or shorthand tags
Single = true;
//If no match of yet, make sure that the tag is not a known html shorthand tag. HTML 4.01 allows shorthand tags like

var ShortTags = new Array("area","base","basefont","br","col","frame","img","input","link","meta","param");
for(var i = 0; i
]/g, "").toLowerCase();

var TokenDelete = new Array(Token);
var tag = balancedDeleteCleanTag(Token.name);
var endTag = "/"+tag;
var i = 0;
var RetreivedAll = false;
var sToken = Token.next;
while(RetreivedAll == false)
else if(sToken.isTag(endTag) && i != 0)
else if(sToken.isTag(endTag) && i == 0)
RetreivedAll = true;
else if(contentdelete)

sToken = sToken.next;

for(var j = 0;j
var Save = false;
var token = tknmngr.item(1);
while(typeof(token)!='undefined') {

//Style head
Save = true;

//Inline js
//if(token.isTag("script") && !token.hasAttribute("src"))
//Save = true

//External js
//if(token.isTag("script") && token.hasAttribute("src"))
//Save = true;

//Image dimensions
Save = true;

//Correct URL
var hrefelems = new Array("link", "a");
var srcelems = new Array("script", "img");
var url = FixURL(token.getAttribute("href"));
if(url != token.getAttribute("href"))
token.setAttribute("href", url);
Save = true;
else if (token.isTag(srcelems))
var url = FixURL(token.getAttribute("src"));
if(url != token.getAttribute("src"))
token.setAttribute("src", url);
Save = true;

//Inline styling tags
var tags = new Array("b","big","center","i","s","small","strike","strong","tt","u");

if(token.getAttribute("style") != "")
var style = "display: none;";
if(token.getAttribute("style") != style)
token.setAttribute("style", style);
Save = true;
Save = true;

//Remove empty span -> Housekeeping
if(token.name == "
Save = true;

//Next token
token = token.next;
if(Save)//Save file
//else if(backup)//No save and backup present. Remove backup


//alert('File '+pFile+' processed');

function DHTML(token)
var CheckPotentialSafeTags = new Array("div", "span");//Potential safe elements
var SafeClasses = new Array("droptext", "expandtext");//Safe classes

var isDHTML = false;

isDHTML = true;
return isDHTML;

function Backup()
var FileToBackup = new File(file);
BckFileName = file+backupext;
var BckFile = new File(BckFileName);

//If file exists, loop until unique backup filename is created
var i = 0;
BckFile = new File(BckFileName+i);
BckFileName = BckFile.fsName;

function RemoveBackup()
var BckFile = new File(BckFileName);

function FixURL(oldURL) {
var WrongPathDelimiter = /\\/g;
var CorrectPathDelimiter = '/';
var newUrl = oldURL.replace(WrongPathDelimiter, CorrectPathDelimiter);
return newUrl;

function in_array(needle,haystack,strict) {
var strict = false;

var in_array = false;
for(var i=0;i

Title Doesn't Match Result

How To Save an Old Laptop By Installing This Free OS started out promising until I read this:
Right now the Pixel OS can’t be installed on your laptop, only run from a USB stick or DVD, though this might change in the future.
Wait. The title says you can install the free OS.
But you can't.
I still may look into if it supports ripping CDs to MP3 and, if it does, I suppose running it on the same box that has Ubuntu on it would be an option. I haven't returned to that tower to figure out how to get around being asked for a password I don't remember. I have the instructions printed and sitting on my desk.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Laying it Out For Success

Nothing can be discussed about the Iowa Hawkeyes' men's basketball post-season schedule until there is a victory tonight.

As the article points out, the NIT is hard for Hawkeyes to reach. This is because Iowa needs three more wins, perhaps more. The Hawkeyes are 14-13 with games left at home against Indiana, at Maryland and Wisconsin, at home against Penn State. Then, they play at least once in the Big Ten tournament in Washington, DC.

If I were coaching, I'd be stressing the 'one game at a time' mentality. The Hawkeyes confront Indiana tonight @ 8 PM. I would stress that before you can even look at Maryland or WI, or PSU or the Big Ten tournament, you must focus on Indiana and win that game.

Then, we will focus on Maryland.

Then, we will focus on WI.

Then, we will focus on PSU.

Then, we will focus on our Big Ten opponent.

Editor's Note: Success on 2/22! Iowa defeats Indiana in overtime! Read more here.

Join Us

Editor's Note: The above video was embedded after reading this article: You'll Need to Rewatch This Walking Dead Scene After Hearing This


5 Simple Ways

5 Simple Ways to Strengthen the Friendship in Your Marriage

Monday, February 20, 2017

Sighing as I'm Missing Sting

Once Upon Consistency

These sentences are from the same website with the same type of page-level table of contents following the text. I include them here because it sure would have been easier to create a snippet with one of the three versions and then simply refer to that snippet on the three different pages. I favor that strategy over writing the same sentence 3 different times.

FOUR HOURS REQUIRED!!! if you watch "Metallica's 30th Anniversary (2011) [Compilation]"

Holy Sh!t Holy Sh!t Holy Sh!t - Vol 13

Awesome Episode

Cobain Would be 50 Today

Instead of having Nirvana tunes playing in the background, there is some weird & annoying crap. You probably will want to mute this video.

Life at Another Employer was like THIS

At a previous employer (10/2010 - 4/2011), I was in the same type of position as Zev Levi, the originator of the thread below, except that I wasn't about working in a different country. In my situation, it was about:
  • explaining to product managers and developers and a co-worker why their documentation ideas [were] troublesome 
  • defending my 15 years, 8 months, 5 days of experience against terrible technical writing practices, chief among them being to manually type a table of contents for a ~150 page user guide, printing it, verifying the page number in the table of contents matches the actual page, fixing, reprinting, and repeating that process. 
  • biting my tongue when, after showing my co-worker that an automatic table of contents could be generated from headings in the Adobe InDesign file (just like Microsoft Word), doing so was dismissed as "too complicated."
Thus, when Peter Neilson wrote "Attitude Adjustment being inappropriate, the solution devolves to doing an end run, never showing the final version to the SME until it is too late for enemy action. If the SME outranks you substantially, be ready to take a job elsewhere, preferably in an entirely different profession", I smiled and replaced the word "profession" with "industry" as that's exactly what I ended up doing.

In fact, 5 years, 10 months ago today, I left the medical devices industry. An incredibly long 1 month, 2 weeks, 4 days later, I began working in the education industry. I worked in that industry for 4 years, 7 months, 3 weeks, 5 days, which is when I had to begin Job Search 2016. Ultimately, though, I landed up.

And that is ALL that matters today. Below is the thread on Techwr-L that instigated the brief trip down memory lane.

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Neilson
Sent: Monday, February 20, 2017 8:15 AM
To: techwr-l@lists.techwr-l.com
Subject: Re: Nightmare Library

I've answered this at incredible length in a private note to Zev.
Basically it is attitude and audience. I think that Zev's colleagues believe they are themselves the audience. I also suspect that they are possessed of Ample Attitude.

The problem is akin to writing a popular article about some aspect of mathematics, and showing it to a mathematician. He (the mathematician) will find plenty of things "totally wrong" about what you wrote, as well as finding things wrong with YOU and with your dreadful lack of understanding in mathematics. And that's just for starters. (Done there, been that!)

Attitude Adjustment being inappropriate, the solution devolves to doing an end run, never showing the final version to the SME until it is too late for enemy action. If the SME outranks you substantially, be ready to take a job elsewhere, preferably in an entirely different profession.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: techwr-l-bounces+lynne.wright=kronos.com@lists.techwr-l.com
> [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+lynne.wright=kronos.com@lists.techwr-l.com]
> On Behalf Of Zev Levi
> Sent: February-20-17 2:24 AM
> To: techwr-l
> Subject: Nightmare Library
> Hi all,
> I work in a country where English is spoken as a second language (if
> at
> all) and I often find myself explaining to product managers and
> developers why their documentation ideas are troublesome. ("Yes, the
> sentence you changed is clear to you but, as it's now five lines long,
> it is confusing to readers. We must explain ideas using shorter
> sentences.")
> Is anyone aware of a virtual library of bad-documentation examples (a
> library of tech-doc nightmares)? I'd like to search for *long
> sentences* and find examples of unclear documentation.
> It would be easier to convince PMs of writing guidelines if they tried
> reading a doc that didn't follow them.
> I haven't had any luck googling these terms; I'm looking for
> documentation examples and google generally returns links to forums.
> Cheers
> Zev


This is going to help me some day!


Is it possible to have MS Word 2003 find and replace text between a certain text? For instance, my document has many lines with text like:

"Warehouse: city 1, Store: Area 1, Address: Avenue 1, PIPE: 15412."
"Warehouse: city 3, Store: Area 5, Address: Avenue 5, IT: 15412."
"Warehouse: city 8, Store: Area 2, Address: Street 4, GATE: 15412."

Notice that first word (Warehouse) and the last text (15412) remain identical in all the lines.
I want to replace everything between 'Warehouse' and '15412' in every line so the end result may look like:
"Warehouse: Village 31, Store: Zone DC, Address: Part 1, CIR: 15412."
"Warehouse: Town 4, Chain: Zone D2C, email: Blvd 5, CIK: 15412."
"Warehouse: Locality A, Grocer: County 7E, snailmail: Building 4, DIMD: 15412."


Given that you want to process multiple documents, try the following macro. Basically, all you need to do is to create an Excel workbook with the Find & Replace strings in columns A & B, respectively, then run the macro and point it to the folder containing the files to be processed. All documents in that folder will be searched and updated. You will need to:
  1. supply your own workbook name for the 'StrWkBkNm' variable, 
  2. your own worksheet name for the 'StrWkSht' variable 
  3. some or all of the path

Sub BulkFindReplace()
Application.ScreenUpdating = False
Dim strFolder As String, strFile As String, strDocNm As String, wdDoc As Document
Dim xlApp As Object, xlWkBk As Object, StrWkBkNm As String, StrWkSht As String
Dim iDataRow As Long, xlFList As String, xlRList As String, i As Long
StrWkBkNm = "C:\Users\" & Environ("Username") & "\Downloads\BulkFindReplace.xlsx"
StrWkSht = "Sheet1": strDocNm = ActiveDocument.FullName
If Dir(StrWkBkNm) = "" Then
MsgBox "Cannot find the designated workbook: " & StrWkBkNm, vbExclamation
Exit Sub
End If
On Error Resume Next
'Start Excel
Set xlApp = CreateObject("Excel.Application")
If xlApp Is Nothing Then
MsgBox "Can't start Excel.", vbExclamation
Exit Sub
End If
On Error GoTo 0
With xlApp
'Hide our Excel session
.Visible = False
' The file is available, so open it.
Set xlWkBk = .Workbooks.Open(FileName:=StrWkBkNm, ReadOnly:=True, AddToMru:=False)
If xlWkBk Is Nothing Then
MsgBox "Cannot open:" & vbCr & StrWkBkNm, vbExclamation
.Quit: Set xlApp = Nothing: Exit Sub
End If
' Process the workbook.
With xlWkBk
'Ensure the worksheet exists
If SheetExists(xlWkBk, StrWkSht) = True Then
With .Worksheets(StrWkSht)
' Find the last-used row in column A.
iDataRow = .Cells(.Rows.Count, 1).End(-4162).Row ' -4162 = xlUp
' Capture the F/R data.
For i = 1 To iDataRow
' Skip over empty fields to preserve the underlying cell contents.
If Trim(.Range("A" & i)) <> vbNullString Then
xlFList = xlFList & "|" & Trim(.Range("A" & i))
xlRList = xlRList & "|" & Trim(.Range("B" & i))
End If
End With
MsgBox "Cannot find the designated worksheet: " & StrWkSht, vbExclamation
End If
.Close False
End With
End With
' Release Excel object memory
Set xlWkBk = Nothing: Set xlApp = Nothing
'Exit if there are no data
If xlFList = "" Then Exit Sub
'Get the folder to process
strFolder = GetFolder
If strFolder = "" Then Exit Sub
strFile = Dir(strFolder & "\*.doc", vbNormal)
'Process each document in the folder
While strFile <> ""
If strFolder & "\" & strFile <> strDocNm Then
Set wdDoc = Documents.Open(FileName:=strFolder & "\" & strFile, AddToRecentFiles:=False, Visible:=False)
'Process each word from the F/R List
With wdDoc
With .Range.Find
.MatchWholeWord = True
.MatchCase = True
.Wrap = wdFindContinue
For i = 1 To UBound(Split(xlFList, "|"))
.Text = Split(xlFList, "|")(i)
.Replacement.Text = Split(xlRList, "|")(i)
.Execute Replace:=wdReplaceAll
End With
'Close the document
.Close SaveChanges:=True
End With
End If
'Get the next document
strFile = Dir()
Set wdDoc = Nothing
Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

Function GetFolder() As String
Dim oFolder As Object
GetFolder = ""
Set oFolder = CreateObject("Shell.Application").BrowseForFolder(0, "Choose a folder", 0)
If (Not oFolder Is Nothing) Then GetFolder = oFolder.Items.Item.Path
Set oFolder = Nothing
End Function

Function SheetExists(xlWkBk As Object, SheetName As String) As Boolean
Dim i As Long: SheetExists = False
With xlWkBk
For i = 1 To .Sheets.Count
If .Sheets(i).Name = SheetName Then
SheetExists = True: Exit For
End If
End With
End Function

Not the Results Expected

We MUST defend our home court and that wasn't done on Saturday.

The next home game is Tuesday against Indiana.


All of these videos could have been a standalone post on their own merits, but they're collected as one because there is a common thread that unites them. See below the 5th video for the reason these 3 drummers belong together.

As for the drummers themselves, two need no introduction: Mike Portnoy and Chad Smith. The third, Tomas Haake does. He is the drummer for Meshuggah, a band that is playing on the Friday night of Chicago Open Air 2017 in July 2017. There are many bands I need to bone up on prior to July 2017 and Meshuggah is one of those bands.

The reason these 3 drummers belong together is that they are all Sabian cymbal endorsers.
And here's another fun fact. If I had seen the video below, I likely would not have sought to hear any Meshuggah tunes.

Editor's Note: Because of embedding the two videos of Tomas Haake playing drums, the "Meshuggah" tag has been added to this blog. Because of embedding the video of Mike Portnoy playing an Adrenaline Mob tune, the "Adrenaline Mob" tag has been added to this blog.

I Need Help

Death Truly Sucks Dirt

On 2/19/2010, a family's life changed forever. I can never forget what I felt like when I heard that my co-worker's daughter had passed. She posted the following on her Facebook page yesterday:

Great Marketing Writing

I like the marketing angle for this ad:

"You can never have enough space, and 8 terabytes is really a lot of data, but if you need that much this hard drive is being offered for $40 off list price."

I agree with that!

Inspirational Monday Sayings

The challenge is to take a break from the busy live that consumes my dawn to dusk and remember things like the following:

Friday, February 17, 2017

Thinking about the Future

While I recently purchased CrashPlan as my backup solution, I still think about a solution like this one:

Tim, my co-worker, has this type of a backup solution instead of a service like CrashPlan. 4 x 2 TB is a lot of storage room and would certainly be able to handle my CDs to MP3 files. I also think that the files that result from my cassette to MP3 conversion as(I think), and my videos to digital (I think). Of course, maybe I'm going against the trend: Are consumers returning to non-digital technology?

Apology Accepted. Move Along.


Must be Buried

Sepultura is another band that has members going their separate ways and waging war in the press. In this video, guitarist Andreas Kisser fires a shot at former bandmates Max and Igor Cavalera and their plans to perform the entire "Roots" album with the declaration that they 'are not doing anything new' in this article on Blabbermouth.net.

Sepultura is just like Kiss which is just like Ratt which is just like Metallica which is just like Megadeth which is just like Dream Theater. Instead of resolving differences in-person, each of these bands makes less than flattering comments to sites like Blabbermouth.net, thinking it will somehow resolve their issues. When a band member leaves a band, it's similar to a divorce where fans feel they have to pick a side. Are you on Andreas Kisser's side or Max Calavera's side? I mean, my God, it was 1996, the year Megan was born, when Max left Sepultura after the rest of the band fired his wife Gloria as their manager. That'll be 21 years in August and yet, the questions are asked of Kisser.

Life is too short. All these bands with former members still active in the music business need to adopt a code. The code is this. When you are asked by the media, "What do you think of your former member's current music?" you need to answer one of two ways:
  1. If you've heard the music, you say, "I think [name of former member] is doing what he/she needed to do and I'm happy they found an outlet. I respect their time in our band and I wish them nothing but the best."
  2. If you haven't heard the music, you say, "I haven't had a chance to check it out yet. I respect their time in our band and I wish them nothing but the best."
Here Kisser break that code in the video below.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Got on a CB Trip

New LP Released

Alex sent me a text to find the new Linkin Park tune "Heavy" and I found it on this page. To me, the word "heavy" means "heavy metal" and, as you will hear when you listen to it, the song is NOT heavy metal.

That said, I do like the tune.

Enter Information Development World

It was 2012 - nearly 5 years ago - when I attended WinWriters in Memphis. When I see conferences like this one - Information Development World (IDG), I can't help but be taken back to 2012. It was such an awesome time in Memphis with Karen, Mark, and Susie - we still refer to some of the funny things said and done on that trip.

Here's information about the IDG conference:

Information Development World (IDW) is the conference for technical, marketing, and product information managers—the folks responsible for managing the people, processes, and technologies involved in creating exceptional customer experiences with content. IDW takes place May 15-17 at the Quadrus Conference Center in Menlo Park, California, the heart of Silicon Valley venture-capital land.

To read more details about the conference, refer to the Schedule.

That's the Point

Censorship sucks and it sucks worse when it fails. Consider this panel from an article that was reviewing an issue of The Walking Dead comic book. The f-word is blurred out 4 times, which is great. Except there are five instances of the f-word:

It made me laugh.

Goals? Of course I Have Goals

These are the goals I submitted to Bob to discuss for the next year.
What is your specific goal? (typically 3-5 goals, may include a professional development goal)
  1. Enhance existing relationships and establish additional relationship with all teams that are responsible for the 16 critical HCIS systems
  2. Establish additional processes related to how I do my work such as automating the compilation of the RoboHelp project to generate the required 3 deliverables (CHM file, PDF, and browser-based) and setting up how these deliverables would be available when a disaster happens. This also includes advanced MS Word practices related to templates and updating boilerplate text across the 16 critical HCIS system Word docs by updating the template.
  3. Integrate all relevant knowledge I learn by working on the disaster recovery documentation with the Cherwell project.
  4. provide editorial and writing guidance for HCIS co-workers
  5. provide guidance for HCIS co-workers who have questions about how to use the tools I use on a daily basis

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Styles in Text

I have been fighting with Microsoft Word styles for what feels like an eternity. In each of my files that are linked to my Disaster Recovery project in RoboHelp, I started running Macmillan Tools > Style Report, which generates a text file but to better analyze what I have, I wanted to combine the text files into a single file, but I also wanted to know the file name and have some sort of a divider between the files.

Enter google. I entered

which led to this page:

I read this, which, yes, it is hard to read:

which has this answer:

Because I may want to use the commands within the DOS batch file in the answer, here it is:

@echo off
for /r %%i in (*.txt) do (
if not %%~nxi == output.txt (
echo %%~nxi >> output.txt
type "%%i" >> output.txt
echo. >> output.txt
echo =================================================================== >> output.txt

I also downloaded the mentioned text file merging tool - txtcollector because I have a lot of text files on my external hard drive that I would like to combine using it.

But not right now.

Right now, I need to focus. My status review meeting with my manager is at 1 today and I need to get some work done with some of the Word documents so I can show him my progress.